Brixham Marine Conservation Day 30 May 2017

Blog by Zillah Robertson

Brixham held its Marine Conservation Day bringing together many organisations concerned with marine conservation and raising awareness of conservation issues with many exhibitors and speakers. The aim was to try and educate the next generation and introduce children to research and survey work, with it being half term and so many families visiting Brixham, it was the ideal opportunity.

It was a glorious day, we’ve been so lucky with the weather at all our Brixham events. We were pleased to be taking part and supporting the town. We arrived early and set up our gazebo on the Breakwater beach, next to Jules from the Marine Conservation Society. She had a tent as she travels alone so we helped each other to set up. Its always good to be at events with other groups, all raising awareness, meeting new faces and having some fun along the way!

Rob and Nat got ready to do a shore dive next to the Breakwater. Liz and Julian, new divers to the group, joined them. I manned the gazebo and we prepared ourselves for a busy day.

After an hour the 4 divers brought in some tangled fishing line and a few other pieces of debris. The divers regularly find fishing line on the seabed at this location. Unless it’s removed, it will either drift around or sit there for years, potentially harming marine life. We removed 14 hooks and 10 leads from the line.

By late morning the beach was busy and we were joined by Neil Hembrow from Beachcare who’d brought with him 10 naval cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth along with their supervisor, to do a litter pick inside the Breakwater. There is a lot of litter amongst the rocks overlooking the marina. The cadets were from Saudi Arabia and speaking quite good English I was able to tell them about our group. They had an hour to themselves after the clean up to look around the town, ” oh good”  I said ” there will be lots of places for you to eat lunch !” Unfortunately, they were fasting as it was Ramadan. They couldn’t even have a drink of water, I didn’t know!

Off they went each with a bin bag and picker. They came back later with 12 bags of litter  and they’d only done half the Breakwater. Most of it had come from the boats in the harbour. I was asked to thank them which I did wholeheartedly. They did an amazing job, Well done lads!

I went for a walk up the town at lunch time. Having never actually been in the town (we’re always on the beach) I was amazed how many shops there were and how busy it had become. The crowds had gathered, there were many excited children taking part in a crabbing competition along the harbours edge, a marine litter monster was being built and there were exhibitors all through the town to the yacht club. There was a stunning replica of the ship ‘The Golden Hind’ by the quay. So much to see and do!

I went to collect Dave Perry’s prize for a photography competition he’d entered. Dave is the groups master photographer! Unfortunately, he couldn’t be there on the day. He’d won the over 18s entry which was great and his prize was books and a camera bag. I had my photo taken on his behalf. Well done Dave!

When I got back to the gazebo Rob was just leaving with Nat to go up to the town. Rob was giving a talk at the Yacht Club.

During the afternoon Jules from the Marine Conservation Society organised a beach clean with lots of people, including the kids joining in to help.

The beach looked clean but they did pick up lots of little bits of litter, always the case on a seemingly clean beach.

We all chatted to lots of members of the public during the day. They were interested to hear about the dives we’ve been doing in the area retrieving lost fishing gear. Warwick, who’s a friend of the group and a local skipper, (whose boat we’d used for our dives) had saved a dumpy bag full of fishing line and net, from the dive we’d done a month earlier, for us to display at this event.

Unfortunately it was incredibly smelly (mixed with rotting sea life, it wasn’t going to stay fresh!) so we had to put it as far as possible down the beach, away from the stands and take people to see it.

We packed up late afternoon, it had been a great day. Thank you to Annie, who organised the event and looked after us during the day.

Please see gallery photos below…
Total Photos